CMJE Event April 22, 2009 - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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CMJE Event April 22, 2009

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For Immediate Release                                          

Contact: Hebah Farrag




Muslim and Jewish Parliamentarians to Discuss Faith-based Public Diplomacy at USC


Los Angeles, Calif. (April 22, 2009) – Two British members of Parliament will introduce American audiences to the innovative use of public diplomacy developed to promote dialogue, co-operation and good relations between Muslim and Jewish communities internationally. Lord Parry Mitchell, Chairman of the Coexistence Trust and a Labour politician and life Peer, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, a British Liberal Democrat politician and Life Peer, and Samuel Klein, Director of the Trust, will discuss their ground-breaking work with Steven Lamy, Vice Dean for Academic Programs and Professor of International Relations at USC.


 “Beyond Politics: The Coexistence Trust and Public Diplomacy in Muslim and Jewish Engagement” will take place on April 22, 2009 at USC. The panelists will discuss, among other topics, their work to combat the growing Islamophobia and anti-Semitism on university campuses in the UK, the implications for public diplomacy, and the role of religion in governance and policy-making today using the experiences of the Trust as a guide.


“Beyond Politics” is hosted by the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (CMJE), which works to promote dialogue, understanding and grassroots, congregational and academic partnerships.  CMJE is a collaborative partnership between Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation and the University of Southern California’s (USC) Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.


The Coexistence Trust (, which was founded in 2005, is comprised of Muslim and Jewish Peers and Members of Parliament in the U.K.  The organization works to provide a bridge across the political spectrum to combat Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism wherever it may be found and uses its unique level of access to intervene at the highest levels of government whenever and wherever there are racist attacks against Muslims or Jews. The Trust believes that with political authority comes the responsibility to be sensitive to the role of religion in public life. 



“Beyond Politics: The Coexistence Trust and Public Diplomacy in Muslim and Jewish Engagement”

April 22, 2009, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

USC Doheny Intellectual Commons

Doheny Memorial Library
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles CA 90089-0185


The event is co-sponsored by the USC Religion in Global Governance (RIGG) Project, and the USC Office of Religious Life


Lord Parry Mitchell, Chairman of the Coexistence Trust, is a Labour politician and life Peer. He is a graduate of London University and holds an MBA from Graduate School of Business, Columbia University New York. He was until recently Chairman of Syscap PLC ; an IT finance, leasing, rental and asset management service provider. He has worked in developing relationships between government and the IT industry. In the past he has acted as Labour's information technology adviser. Lord Mitchell is chairman of The Coexistence Trust, The E-Learning Foundation and Weizmann UK.

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, is a British Liberal Democrat politician and Life Peer. She is Liberal Democrat spokesperson for communities and local government in the House of Lords. Kishwer was the Liberal Democrats’ director of international and European affairs for several years, co-authoring much of the party’s policy on the European Union, and coordinating a joint response for European Liberals on issues related to Europe’s structures and place in the world. Kishwer also worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat, where she continued to work on the broader issues of globalisation, democracy and development. Most recently, Kishwer was Chief Executive of a charity working with young people in some of the poorest parts of Africa and Asia.



Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.